Buffalo, New York —As the City of Buffalo begins Fiscal Year 2019-2020 on July 1st, Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced the return of Ellen E. Grant, PhD, LCSW-R as a Deputy Mayor. At the same time, Mayor Brown announced that he intends to nominate Michael Finn to permanently serve as the Department of Public Works Commissioner, subject to Council confirmation, and appointed Francisco Guzman as Deputy Commissioner of Buildings, Lou Petrucci as Deputy Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services, Daryl Springer as Deputy Commissioner of Management Information, and Brian Sullivan as Deputy Commissioner of Assessment and Taxation.
Mayor Brown also announced the following appointments: Halimah Madyun as Deputy Finance Officer, Jessica Brown as Director of Administration and Finance, Willie McLaughlin as Acting Director of Civil Service, Ka’Ron Barnes as the Director of Urban Affairs, Darryl Gaiter as the new Inclusionary Compliance Officer, Michael Ramos as Legislative Coordinator for the DPW, Octavio Villegas as Secretary to the Office of New Americans, Carolyn Manney as a Special Assistant to the Mayor, and Dana Glantz as the Open Data & Analytics Project Manager for the Department of Management Information Systems.
“We continue to build out a world-class team to continue the progressive work we’ve been doing to foster an inclusive and equitable City of Buffalo, and with the addition of new key staff, my Administration will continue to bring City residents the high quality services and resources they deserve and have come to expect,” said Mayor Brown. “I am incredibly pleased to welcome these individuals into these important leadership posts. The work of each of these departments is crucial to our overall mission of serving the residents of Buffalo in the best way we can, and through these appointments, I look forward to our continued work ahead.”
Dr. Grant served for two-and-a-half years as a Deputy Mayor with the Brown Administration before leaving in 2015 to join Say Yes to Education as the national nonprofit organization’s Senior Vice President for Chapter Programming. As a Deputy Mayor, Dr. Grant, a Buffalo native, will work closely with Mayor Brown on enhancing Buffalo’s designation as an Age Friendly City – as designated by the AARP and the World Health Organization. She will also work with Buffalo School Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash and the school board on City programs aimed at student achievement, as well as on issues related to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, with its continued growth in job opportunities. Dr. Grant has a Ph.D. in communications and organizational behavior from the University at Buffalo, where she also held faculty teaching positions. Before joining the government, she served in a number of leadership positions throughout Western New York: Director of Cornerstone Manor, the women and children’s division of the Buffalo City Mission; Vice President of Community Affairs at BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, and President and CEO of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.
Mayor Brown also announced the appointments of other new senior staff members.
“These leaders have shown a tremendous commitment to connecting with the people of Buffalo and I can’t thank them enough for their service to this City,” said Mayor Brown.
Michael J. Finn, P.E., who previously served as City Engineer in the Department of Public Works and has acted as Public Works Commissioner since February of 2019, has been nominated to permanently serve as DPW Commissioner. Mayor Brown will ask the Buffalo Common Council to confirm him at the next meeting.
Finn has worked for the City of Buffalo since 2011 where he started as a Principal Engineer in the Division of Engineering. As a Principal Engineer, he oversaw the annual paving and sidewalk replacement program and managed other various Engineering projects and initiatives. In 2015, Finn was promoted to City Engineer and charged with oversight of the entire Division of Engineering. He served in that role until February 2019 when he was appointed to Acting Commissioner of the Department of Public Works, Parks and Streets. Prior to working for the City of Buffalo, Finn worked for KHEOPS Architecture, Engineering and Survey, DPS (formerly TVGA Consultants). He is a New York State Licensed Professional Engineer and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University at Buffalo.
Francisco Guzman, who most recently served as acting Deputy Commissioner of Buildings, will be promoted to Deputy Commissioner of Buildings. In his recent role as the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (BURA) Engineer / Architect and Federal Labor Standards Compliance Officer for the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, Parks & Street, his responsibilities included the management, coordination and compliance of major projects, such as the standardization of neighborhood playgrounds citywide. Guzman also served as a Project Manager for the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning - BURA’s Housing Division. He was responsible for managing all aspects of the multi-unit and single family home building process, including the Sycamore Village Subdivision, Art Space Buffalo, Cornerstone and The Fruitbelt Homeowership Project. Guzman graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Buffalo State College and earned a Master’s degree in Architecture from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Lou Petrucci brings over 25 years of service to the position of Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Permits and Inspection Services. He is presently the Assistant Director for the Department and has served as a Chief Building Inspector and Court Representative, in addition to having previously worked as the Director of Housing for the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency, as well as an Asset Manager for NYS Homes/SONYMA. Petrucci has a Bachelor of Art’s degree in International and Russian Studies from Allegheny College and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Hilbert College. He has served on a variety of committees, task forces, and initiatives designed to reduce blight, reduce lead hazard exposure, provide quality housing, and to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Buffalo through policy and code enforcement.
As Deputy Commissioner of Management Information Systems, Daryl Springer will be responsible for assisting the City’s Chief Information Officer in planning, directing and managing the strategic and operational strategies, plans, resources and technologies of City government. He is a nineteen year veteran of the MIS Department, where he held a number of roles including a programmer, administrator and supervisor. Springer also briefly worked for the Buffalo Board of Education as a programmer and as an independent IT programmer/consultant. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Buffalo State College.
Brian Sullivan, who most recently served as Supervising Assessor, will be promoted to Deputy Commissioner of Assessment and Taxation. Sullivan brings with him years of experience and an in-depth understanding about how to implement a fair and equitable assessed valuation of all people in the City of Buffalo. He joined the City’s Department of Assessment and Taxation in 1999 and is also a NYS Certified General Appraiser and former owner of Sullivan Valuation and Research, a real estate appraisal and consulting firm.
Shatorah Donovan is the City’s Chief Diversity Officer, who is responsible for the oversight and implementation of the City of Buffalo Opportunity Agenda through economic inclusion, City contract compliance and monitoring, M/WBE certification, contractual community benefit and more. She comes to her new role with significant Government, Non Profit and Higher Education Experience. Prior to her new role, she was the Director of Development for the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, Assistant Director of Philanthropy and Director of the Annual Fund at the University at Buffalo School of Law. A recipient of numerous awards for her passion to advance the interests of under-resourced and under-represented communities to realize economic and social equity, Donovan earned a Bachelor of Art’s degree in Social Sciences Interdisciplinary and a Dual Degree – Juris Doctor and Master’s of Social Work – from the University at Buffalo School of Law.
Halimah Madyun joined the City’s Administration, Finance, Policy and Urban Affairs Department as the Deputy Finance Officer. Madyun is responsible for assisting the Administration in preparing and managing the annual budget process, as well as helping to identify process efficiencies among all City departments that impact revenue and expenses. Prior to joining the City of Buffalo, she worked at M&T Bank for nearly 17 years, with over 15 years of commercial lending product knowledge. Madyun attended D’Youville College where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. She is also recognized as a Certified Six Sigma Green Belt and Certified Lean Professional.
Jessica R Brown, CPA, Esq., is the Director for the Department of Administration, Finance, Policy & Urban Affairs. She assists the Department in the formulation of the annual budget and in the investigation, supervision, and coordination of expenditures. Brown comes to her new role from the Center for Elder Law & Justice, a non-profit legal aid agency that provides legal assistance to financially-eligible seniors. Brown graduated from the University at Buffalo School of Law and School of Management with a JD and a CPA.
Willie McLaughlin will be appointed Acting Director of Civil Service. She is currently a Personnel Specialist in Civil Service, the highest competitive title in that Division. McLaughlin is a dedicated public servant who has worked in City government since 1993.
Ka’Ron Barnes will be joining the Brown Administration as the Director of Urban Affairs. Barnes comes to City government with a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University at Buffalo. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University. He was previously employed at Bank of America, where he worked as an Officer-Credit Support Associate.
Darryl Gaiter serves as the City of Buffalo’s Inclusionary Compliance Officer in the Office of Diversity, Opportunity & Inclusion. In his new role, he will manage city-wide contracts to ensure compliance with M/WBE and workforce goals and requirements. Gaiter comes to his new post from Citibank where he held a series of positions, including Assistant Vice President in the Fixed Income Trading Middle Office. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Howard University.
Michael J. Ramos has been appointed Legislative Coordinator for the Department of Public Works, Parks & Streets. Ramos enters this position after receiving a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Non- Profit management from Buffalo State College. Previously, he served in the public health field as a behavioral health specialist and nursing assistant.
Octavio Villegas has been appointed as Secretary to the Office of New Americans. He is a graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Law. Born and raised in New York City, Villegas has transplanted himself in the city of Buffalo and is presently involved with a number of organizations, such as the Belle Center and the Puerto Rican & Hispanic Day Parade, that serve the Latinx Community on the lower West Side of the city. Octavio also serves as a Volunteer Staff Attorney for the Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Legal Clinic that was put together by the University at Buffalo School of Law in response to the aftermath caused by Hurricane Maria.
Carolyn Manney has been promoted to Special Assistant to the Mayor. Manney started with the City of Buffalo as an intern in 2006, and worked her way up through various Departments, while attending night school. She has since earned an Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts Social Sciences from Empire State College, a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Services from Empire State College and a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Medaille College.
Dana Glantz is the Open Data & Analytics Project Manager for the Department of Management Information Systems. She develops, supports and enhances the City’s Open Data Buffalo program, analyzes data and information to generate insight into City of Buffalo operations, and assists with improving the efficiency of departmental operations. Glantz holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistic Structure and Theory from the University at Buffalo.